The apology was notable for its exculpatory language.
Hwang Sun-hong, the head coach of South Korea’s U-24 Asian Games soccer team, announced the roster for the 2023 Hangzhou Asian Games at a soccer hall in Shinmun-ro, Seoul, on April 14.
Following the announcement, controversy erupted over the selection of Lee Sang-min (Seongnam FC), who has a history of drunk driving. Four days later, the Korean Football Association (KFA) and coach Hwang Sun-hong issued a statement and decided to remove him.
The deadline to submit a roster for the Asian Games is 15 days, and changes can only be made in special cases, such as injuries, so it’s possible that the Korean national team will play with one less player at the Asian Games. This is a huge setback in an already packed Asian Games.
Putting aside what happened, it was clear that the KFA was looking for cover in the apology. There were some good parts of the apology, but there were also some not-so-good parts.
“In the case of the player in question, he has been playing in the K League 2 since 2020 and was disciplined by the Korean Football Association for drunk driving, and was subsequently selected for the age group national team, but compared to the K League 1 and A National Team players, neither the league news nor the player-related information is relatively well known to the outside world, so we were unable to properly review the relevant regulations in relation to that fact at the time of the first selection in 2021,” the KFA said in its statement.
It’s a small and shameful oversight. The KFA might see it as a mere statement of fact. “It was difficult to identify the players because they were in the second division”. It’s an admission that the understanding of players selected for the national team varies depending on the league they play in. In the unlikely event that this is true, all you have to do is admit that you didn’t check the player information closely enough. It’s a demeaning statement to age-group representatives from the second and lower divisions, and it’s an open admission of their failings.
“In this regard, we have no choice but to admit that the association was inexperienced in handling the relevant procedures,” the KFA said. What does it mean to “admit that there was inexperience”? It’s a double negative that could have ended with “there was inexperience”. It’s a common sentence structure when you don’t want to admit something.
KFA only used the word “apologize” twice in their statement. The first statement is neither an ‘apology’ nor a ‘statement of position’. One of them is an apology from coach Hwang Sun-hong, who is also responsible.
The other is from the sentence, “We apologize for the unauthorized selection of national team players this time.” Of course, they should apologize for that, but is that the only thing they should apologize for? For the lack of awareness about drunk driving? For other things? It was just a glancing apology.
The apology was flawed because it created the situation in the first place. That’s why the anger of soccer fans hasn’t subsided.
South Korea’s roster for the 2023 Hangzhou Asian Games (clubs in brackets, * is a wild card)
Goalkeepers (GK): Lee Kwang-yeon (Gangwon FC), Min Sung-joon (Incheon United), Kim Jung-hoon (Jeonbuk Hyundai)
Defenders (DF): Seol Young-woo (Ulsan Hyundai), Park Kyu-hyun (Dynamo Dresden), Lee Jae-ik (Seoul Eland), Lee Han-beom (Ipsan FC Seoul), Park Jin-seop (Jeonbuk Hyundai), Lee Sang-min (Seongnam FC), Hwang Jae-won (Daegu FC), Choi Jun (Busan I-Park)
Midfielders (MF): Jung Ho-yeon (Gwangju FC), Hong Hyun-seok (KAA Gent), Baek Seung-ho (Jeonbuk Hyundai)*, Song Min-gyu (Jeonbuk Hyundai), Jung Woo-young (VfB Stuttgart), Ko Young-joon (Pohang Steelers), Lee Kang-in (Paris Saint-Germain FC), Uhm Won-sang (Ulsan Hyundai), Cho Young-wook (Gimcheon Commerce)
◇Korea Football Association Statement (full text)
The Korea Football Association has decided to exclude Lee Sang-min (Seongnam FC) from the national football team for the Hangzhou 2023 Asian Games.
The KFA humbly acknowledges that the selection process for the Asian Games squad, which was announced on the 14th of this month, resulted in the selection of a player who did not meet the rules of the National Football Team, and promises to do its best to prevent a similar situation from occurring in the future by overhauling the administrative system.
The Association first selected the player for the U-22 National Team in September 2021 and has previously selected the player for the U-23 and U-24 National Teams on three previous occasions.
The player was caught driving under the influence of alcohol in May 2020 and was sentenced to a fine of 5 million won on August 5 of that year for violating the Road Traffic Act. Article 17 of the KFA’s National Football Team Operating Regulations states that “a person who has been sentenced to a fine of more than 5 million won for an act related to driving under the influence of alcohol, and the sentence has not been finalized for three years, is not eligible to represent the national team.” Therefore, according to the regulations, the player is not eligible to be selected for the national team until August 4, 2023.
In the case of the player in question, he has been playing in the K League 2 since 2020 and was disciplined by the Korean Football Association for driving under the influence of alcohol, and was subsequently selected for the age-group national team. Since neither the league news nor the player’s information is relatively well known to the outside world compared to K League 1 or A National Team players, the relevant regulations could not be properly reviewed at the time of the first selection in 2021. In this regard, we must admit that the Association was inexperienced in handling the relevant procedures.
We will face up to our past administrative inexperience and problems and take measures to prevent a recurrence, such as checking disciplinary history before finalizing the roster, referring to overseas countries’ cases to “submit a pledge,” or allowing professional football clubs to “check the history of problems when providing standard contracts”.
In response to the incident, Hwang Sun-hong said, “The manager and coaching staff deeply apologize for being careless in the process of selecting players,” adding that he will pay closer attention to player selection and operations in the future. 메이저놀이터
We apologize for the unauthorized selection of national team players and will do our best to prevent the same thing from happening again.